When an element undergoes radioactive decay, it creates radiation and turns into some other element.Of course, the best way to understand something is to model it, because the last thing you want to do at home is experiment with something radioactive. Before doing any modeling, you must first understand one key idea: Each atom in a sample of material has an essentially random chance to decay.The word "estimates" is used because there is a significant amount of uncertainty in these measurements.Each sample type has specific problems associated with its use for dating purposes, including contamination and special environmental effects.I know can be hard to wrap your head around, so let's model it with a six-sided die. You can use Lego bricks, pennies, beans—anything you can easily count. Every time you roll a one, put that object into a separate pile.Count the remaining objects and repeat the process until half of them have decayed. It took a while, but we finally got pretty close to 40 tiles left.For reasons that physics doesn’t fully understand, atoms like to have very particular ratios of neutrons to protons.
Carbon dioxide is distributed on a worldwide basis into various atmospheric, biospheric, and hydrospheric reservoirs on a time scale much shorter than its half-life.For carbon-14, it gives off an electron and an antineutrino forming stable nitrogen.Radioactive samples, like carbon-14, decay at very predictable and measurable rates.Some of those sugars are made into long chain molecules like cellulose, which makes up most of the woody, pulpy portion of trees and plants.Carbon dioxide gas also dissolves in water, sometimes forming carbonic acid.